The Qatteri Cat has some desert cat in him, or so the vet says. She says this on the basis of his very very hairy ears, the better to keep sand out, and his very hairy paws. His paws crack me up – desert cats have hairy paws so that they can walk on hot sand without burning their feet.
There is another meaning to cat’s paw than the literal meaning. When a person is referred to as a cat’s paw, it means that person is acting, knowingly or unknowingly, to do the will of another person. Here is what answers.com says about the term cat’s paw:
cat’s-paw also cats·paw (kăts’pô’)
n., pl. cat’s-paws also cats·paws.
A person used by another as a dupe or tool.
A light breeze that ruffles small areas of a water surface.
Nautical. A knot made by twisting a section of rope to form two adjacent eyes through which a hook is passed, used in hoisting.
A dupe or tool for another, a sucker, as in You always try to make a cat’s paw of me, but I refuse to do any more of your work. This term alludes to a very old tale about a monkey that persuades a cat to pull chestnuts out of the fire so as to avoid burning its own paws. The story dates from the 16th century and versions of it (some with a dog) exist in many languages.
I know that some of you out there in etherworld share my love of words and phrases, and of knowing their origin. This is for you! 🙂